We visited Cape Town in South Africa to attend a wedding flying from Birmingham in England via Amsterdam to Cape Town with KLM.Our flight touched down late at night and we were driven by our friends to the first of two luxury hotels we had arranged to stay at for four nights in Cape Town:-THE CAPE HERITAGE HOTELThis luxury hotel in Cape Town is centrally located within walking distance of both the financial area of the city and the shops and parks.There are fifteen bedrooms. Our room was huge, beautifully furnished with a wonderful wooden floor and we could sit up in bed with a view of Table Mountain.This luxury hotel in Cape Town is owned by an Englishman who is most personable-nothing was too much trouble. Breakfast was a delight served by the most friendly staff you could possibly meet. A lovely lounge to relax in with a drink in the evening. Although dinner is not served there are numerous excellent restaurants close by which the hotel can recommend-do not miss dining at L'Aubergine! The hotel will arrange a taxi for you if required -in a mercedez benz.You can be assured of a warm welcome at this luxury hotel in the middle of Cape Town and you will be well looked after during your stay.Enjoy!For the final two nights of our stay in Cape Town we moved a few miles into the exclusive suburbs of Cape Town to :-LES CASCADES DE BANTRY BAYThis luxury hotel, actually described as a lodge, is located in a peaceful exclusive residential area of Bantry Bay.It is personally run and has six bedrooms in the main house all with balconies with views of the sea. The furnishings both in the bedroom and in the public areas are of the highest quality. The bathroom was luxurious. In The Villa, a separate building located within the grounds, there are four bedrooms designed in a contemporary style. The small swimming pools are beautiful with lovely seating areas to relax- candles lit on an evening. Breakfast was served outside overlooking one of the swimming pools. Dinner is also served but we did not dine at this luxury hotel.The staff are very attentive and personable at this small luxury hotel.Enjoy!Whilst we did not stay at The Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town we did have afternoon tea and what a memorable experience that was! We have had afternoon tea at many other luxury hotels but nothing has compared with that at The Mount Nelson Hotel. Do not miss the experience!Enjoy!
One of the most popular and well known tourist attractions in Southern California is the San Diego Zoo. Most people outside of California, however, arent aware of an even better wildlife experience which is just a short drive from the Zoo, in the northern part of San Diego County, the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Like the "San Diego Zoo" , the Wild Animal Park is operated by the Zoological Society of San Diego which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and education of endangered species and their habitats. Ive been to the Park many times while growing up in Southern California, but my last visit was special because it was with my five year old daughter who has never been there before. It was an experience that yielded many cool pictures and a great time that I wont soon forget.The "San Diego Wild Animal Park" opened in 1972, and many of the attractions that were there for the opening are still around today. The Park is not set up like a traditional zoo because most of the exhibits are in an open area on acres of land. This allows the Park to keep herds of different species that interact with each other in an environment that simulates their natural habitat. Because of this, the animals display many of their natural behaviors, providing Park visitors with a better understanding of how they live. The Wild Animal Parks most popular attraction is the Wgasa Bush Line Railway which takes visitors on a 3 mile, 40 minute journey through most of the Parks main areas and then into the San Pasqual Valley. The valley is divided into different areas, each representing different regions such as North Africa, South Africa, the Asian Plains, and the Mongolian Steppe. The tour also offers a live narration by the tram driver which really succeeds in educating the riders about each species on display. For instance, I never knew that a herd of rhinos is known as a crash. This attraction is perfect for older kids and adults, but younger children may become a little restless due to the rides length of time. In the spring of 2007, the old railway is going to be replaced by a new and more modern transportation system.Much of the Wild Animal Parks charm comes from the over 3,500 plant species on display along with the Nairobi Village theme. Our visit was on a somewhat dreary day which made the Park seem like a rainforest with babbling brooks and misty walkways. The one exhibit that my daughter couldnt get enough of was Lorikeet Landing. For two dollars, you can buy lorikeet food (nectar) and the colorful birds will actually land on you when you enter the atrium. From there, we saw another one of my daughters favorites, Lion Camp. This new attraction lets you see the lions from several different angles and also provides an up-close view when you approach the glass barrier, which is the only thing separating you from the king of beasts. Im a big fan of carousels and the Conservation Carousel was one of the most unique that Ive ever seen. Instead of horses, it featured many of the endangered animals that can be seen throughout the park. Our final attraction of the day was an Animal Encounter, where we got to experience a Caracal Cat up-close along with its trainer. For a little bit more than the price of a one-day ticket, you can purchase one of several packages that allow you to become a member of the Zoological Society of San Diego. As a member, you get such benefits as unlimited visits to the San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal Park for one year, a ZOONOOZ magazine subscription, a membership card, and monthly member specials featuring discounts on food and merchandise. Since The Wild Animal Park is operated by a non-profit organization, a visit to the gift store not only gets you some really cool stuff, but also allows you to contribute to a worthwhile cause. This was the first of many visits that my daughter and I intend on making to the Park over the next year. Hopefully, on your next trek through Southern California, you take the time to experience the San Diego Wild Animal Park for yourself.
Personally I think it would be very foolish not to have some sort of travel insurance, especially if you are flying abroad. People sometimes make the mistake in thinking that their local insurance policies will cover any losses and have a big shock when they come to make a claim. Besides, if you have the right policy, it takes all the worry out of your trip.You should always be offered insurance, by your travel agent, when you arrange your trip. If not, ask, because it will be on your own head if anything goes wrong.A Cheap Policy or Not?When a "travel insurance" policy is issued there are a number of allocations if the premium, agents commissions, administrative costs, some goes towards profit and what's left over goes towards the actual insurance coverage. So, you can see, if it's a cheap travel insurance policy, something is going to miss out and you can bet it will be the level of coverage.If you buy a regular travel insurance policy, that is, you fill out a form and send it to the insuarance company with your remittance there are a lot of costs involves. A better way would to get a wholesale policy (which travel agents do sell) where the administration costs are dramactically reduced, meaning more money is spent on the actual coverage.Some tour operators and agents provide an "in-house" travel insurance policy and, often, all it covers is their own cancellation fees and little else. It may be cheaper but will not give you much travel insurance coverage.Another way to reduce costs, which depends on the level of travel you are going to do, is to purhase an annual travel insurance policy. This is buying in bulk and is likely to be much less expensive than the one-off trip policy.Primary or Secondry Travel Insurance Cover?These 2 types of cover determine the way the payouts are made. The primary travel insurance cover means that the company will "Pay First", that is the payment will be paid to the claim maker. The secondary travel insurance cover means they will pay only after you've have claimed as much as you can from other insurance cover that you may have. So, you can see that the primary cover is a lot better than the secondry cover.What Type Of Coverage Will You Need?It's fair to say the 2 biggest risks that are covered by most cheap tickets policies are the costs of changing your travel plans and and any medical care and emergency assistance that is required while you are away.Most "cheap tickets" policies will include a few hundred dollars for baggage/loss/damage/delay, loss of travel documents and other small sum for flight delay or interuption. Some will also cover for someone to fly out to you if you are to be hospitalised for more tha 2 or 3 days.Another major cost, and I must admit I never thought of this one before, can be supplier bankruptcy. Many time the supplier of your cheap tickets policy are unable to have the policy to cover thier own bankruptcy. This would be another good reason to have an independant policy from the company arranging your travel.Most cheap tickets policies include a large ammount of air death insurance, but surprisingly, it's of very low value item about 25 cents for a $100,000 cover. I suppose this indicates how safe air travel is.Some travel isurance policies will also cover car rental risks and this may be an important thing to consider as car rental insurance policies are extremely expensive.Trip Cancellation/Change CoverageTo understand the possible costs that you may need if you have to change your itinery or cancel the trip, if you have pruchased an unrestricted first class ticket there may be not any costs associated with changing the ticket as this is usually covered in the purchase price.It may seem strange but the the cheapest ticket has the most risk attached to it as far as cancellation/change is concerned. It can cost a heap more to change the cheap fare to return home on a different flight than the original purchase price of the ticket.You will have to be aware that when some cheap tickets policies state that they will cover 'your total trip cost' you may think that the full charges are covered, but this may not be so. Let's say that your discounted fare cost $590 and you have a package that actually costs $895 and you have to change you may find the return trip will cost more than the whole package. Maybe you will have to pay another $1120 to get home on a no advanced one way return ticket.I had this experience a few years ago when I had to rush home for my Father's funeral. Because of time restrictions I had to buy a non-discounted ticket. After not feeling well all day, when I finally arrived at the airport I succumbed to a middle ear infection. So with all the vomitting and the different air pressures that come with flying there was no I could get on a aircraft. But, as I had purchased a full fare, there was problems in changing my flight to the next morning. Goes to show that you can't always control your circumstances.The more restictive cheap tickets policies may exclude circumstances that are deemmed 'under your own control', and perhaps this may include work related issues. Let's say you are about to leave work and you are told there is an issue that has to be solved and that you leave has to be deffered. There's a very good chance that this type of cheap tickets would no pay out because of this reason.Medical Care and Emergency AssistanceSome people mistakenly think that their home medical insuarnce policy will cover all costs wherever they are in the world. They may find that that it doesn't cover at all, or the deductions will be much higher or perhaps their medical costs are covered but not any related transport costs.You may be on a cruise and you need some medical attention by the ship's doctor. There is a good chance that their services are charged for as with any other doctor. You may have to be flown home on a stretcher and this will involve blocking out nine seats, can you imagine how much that would cost. You should make sure that you have cheap tickets of at least $10,000 or more to cover these emergencies. Let's imagine you are in a remote area and you break a leg and you need to be lifted out by a helicopter, this is what good cheap tickets is all about.To SummariseImagine your worst case travel mishap scenario and decide whether you need airline travel. This may be the cancellation of the whole trip coupled with the associated cancellation costs or some emergency medical mishap that will require medivac and local care. I know these are horrible thoughts but if you can't afford to self-insure the expenditure of around $100 on "airline travel" will give you the piece of mind and one less thing to worry about.
As a coastal community the lighthouses of Prince Edward Island not only served the practical purpose of lighting the way home before the era of GPS navigation, they now offer a unique opportunity to those who visit. "Prince Edward Island" offers a variety of lighthouse tours ranging from the scenic to the informative.As most are aware, lighthouses served as a navigational aid for sailors and the ships they captained. Lighthouses are towers that are positioned on sea shores, or even sometimes in harbours. They use a series of lamps and lenses to help guide navigating vessels on the high seas. Lighthouses are used to mark dangerous coastlines, steer ships away from hazards, mark safe entry points into harbours and assist in aerial navigation. With that in mind it is important to note how important lighthouses were to trade and commerce throughout human history.PEI has a rich history and is the birthplace of confederation in Canada. It also has many historic lighthouses that were used to guide the ships delivering goods to and from Canada. PEIs lighthouses are classified in two ways First Generation (built before 1873) and Second Generation (those built following 1873). The difference between the two types is that first generation lighthouses have an octagonal shape and were constructed when timber was plentiful in the province. The second generation lighthouses are square shaped as by this point (post 1873) PEIs timber supply had been scarce because of the shipbuilding industry.Lighthouse technology, although used less in modern times, employs a series of lamps and lenses to project light over large distances. This technology utilizes concentrated light from a single continuous source and magnifies and reflects it so that it can be beamed across open water. The first lighthouses were lit by candles, later by whale oil, then by the 1870's kerosene was typically used.As an island PEI boasts over 40 historic lighthouses. Surrounded by both scenic red sand beaches and rugged cliffs touring the lighthouses provides wonderful insight into maritime life and well as a rich Canadian history. Since Prince Edward Island is surrounded by water you are never to far from the breathtaking views of the gentle island.
When it comes to choosing the right summer vacation for the family, it can be extremely difficult. With so many different destinations to choose from, how do you know which one will be right for you? If you have children then finding the perfect destination can be even trickier. This is because whilst many places claim that they are family friendly, that is not always the case. So if you do have children, how exactly do you find the right summer vacation for the whole family?Finding Family Friendly VacationsWhen you are looking for a destination to suit the whole family, really you need to take into consideration the ages of the children. This is because whilst many family summer vacation packages offer various activities for children, they are not always suited to specific age groups. Many parents assume that a family vacation destination would have something to suit all ages, but unfortunately that is not always the case and so research into the destination is advised before you book. The main type of tourist vacation that people prefer to take is a beach vacation. Now with children you might not be able to get away with lying on the beach relaxing for hours, but you certainly should not rule it out altogether. There is no reason why you cannot enjoy an hour or two of relaxation, just as long as you give the children something to do. A bucket and spade usually comes in handy, as does a beach ball. Then when you have had a little relaxation, you can perhaps teach them to swim in the sea (or paddle depending upon their age)? There is plenty to do for families at the beach and so it is certainly something worth thinking about.If you really want to show your children a good time, then an amusement park vacation might be the best idea. They are the most family friendly places you can go and they literally have something for every age group. So if you have a family with both young children and teenagers, there will definitely be something at an amusement park to suit everyone. However, whilst most parks do cater for all age groups, in some countries the amusement parks are mainly designed for young children so it is worth checking out before you set off. Overall there are plenty of destinations which cater for children. It is a good idea to sit down with the family and talk about the options available. Hopefully you will all be able to reach an agreement as to the destination you will travel to and that way everyone will be happy.